Jānis Rokpelnis, born in 1945 in Riga, is a Latvian poet, essayist, writer and scholar. From 1963 until 1969 he studied psychology and philosophy at what was previously known as the Leningrad State University. He holds degrees in theology and philosophy, and is a qualified lecturer. He has worked as a professional writer, editor, a literary consultant at the Writers’ Union, teacher of history of culture and fine arts, as well as held important positions in various organizations connected to literature, culture and cinema. Rokpelnis is a member of the Latvian Writers’ Union and other literary societies, an honorary member of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, and has received various significant scholarships, awards and prizes, including the prestigious Baltic Assembly Prize (in 2000) along with many important national awards. He is one of the first authors of his generation to introduce the trends of irony and co-existence of various linguistic strata in his work, blending them into his unique lyricism and writing style. Rokpelnis has also edited countless poetry collections, well received by the public and recognized with awards. Rokpelnis is the author of 8 collections of poetry, a documentary novel, a fiction novel, collections of essays, a biographical work on the poet Knuts Skujenieks, a children’s book, as well as a libretto, film scripts, articles, and various other texts. He translated many Russian poets. Rokpelnis’ poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages, and included in many anthologies abroad. His books have been published in Russian, Lithuanian, Italian, French and English.

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